So, you’ve been known to have a few side hustles along with a full time gig? Same here, same. Grab yourself some coffee and let’s chat!
My entire life I’ve had an innate entrepreneurial spirit: I just can’t help it. When I ran out of lemonade to sell at my lemonade stand when I was a first grader, I went into the house and took popsicle sticks, Milkbone dog treats, goldfish crackers and Mod-podge glue to create and sell “pet-themed picture frames.” God bless my neighbors that actually bought them!
After years of experience living that New York City hustle, I have mastered the art of balancing side hustles along a full-time job. Ahead, I’ll help guide you to decide if the side hustle is the right fit for you. Who knows– it could become a full-time job one day!
I’ve always loved to juggle a ton of projects at the same time if it is something I am passionate about (and who doesn’t like making a few extra dollars?!) Although the thrill is real, it can be difficult to balance the work with quick timelines, maintain a social life, and be able to sneak in some of those zzz’s to achieve a healthy lifestyle. I’ve been down this path many times and have felt the effects of lack of balance. While I have been at the top, I have also crashed and burned.
If that sounds even remotely like you, you have an entrepreneurial spirit. An unstoppable drive. You don’t settle for a 9-5 day job– you want something above and beyond. Something that is unique to you, and also gives you the ability to make more than a standard salary as you take on more passion projects.
FIRST QUESTION TO ASK YOURSELF
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?
Financial benchmarks you’d like to meet? Itching for an adventure? Needing a lifestyle shake-up? The beauty of goals is that there are no limits and nothing is too big or too little to consider as a goal. You can always pivot and change them at any time. You are not married to them, unless you want to be.
I’d love for you to take a moment and write down your goals, and add beneath your goals potential steps you think you need to take, and a reasonable timeline you’d like to achieve them by. It’s been proven that if you physically write down your goals and keep them within eyesight (on your desk, taped in your wallet, wherever!) you are 90% more likely to achieve them.
I’ve created a handy free Goal-Setting Checklist to help you outline your thoughts that you can download here. It’s super helpful to map out where you want to be down the road (whether it’s next week or 5 years away), and prioritize ways to accomplish your goals.
I recommend printing this out and keeping it somewhere within your sight to review daily/weekly/or monthly to remind yourself of what you want, and to track progress.
The beauty of goals is that there are no limits and nothing is too big or too little to consider as a goal. You can always pivot and change them at any time.
SECOND QUESTION TO ASK YOURSELF
IS THIS OPPORTUNITY WORTH MY TIME?
Now that you have your goals written down, if you’re looking for a side hustle or currently working one, take a step back and evaluate if it is something that is right for you and your end goals. Does it align with your dreams?
Maybe that dream is to save for a major trip to Europe. You may want to pay off your student loans. Maybe it’s to boost your experience level and acquire a new skill-set to have an edge over the competition for your dream job. Maybe it’s starting out a business you want to build into a full-time job for yourself. Whatever your goal is, big or small, does this opportunity help you take a step towards your end goal? I was bartending on the side while working a full-time career job, and it enabled me to save up for a Euro-trip and eventually, leave my “career” job to pursue my own business. By taking these extra hours, I was working towards making my dreams come true– and the side hustle paid off.
Third QUESTION TO ASK YOURSELF
DOES IT MAKE ENOUGH OF THAT CASH MONEY, HONEY?
Your time is money! Make sure that if you take on extra work (if you are working for an extra income– not just for experience or building a new business for yourself), that it’s worth it. If it barely helps to make a dent in what you’re working towards, I’ve found it better to invest your time in searching for a better paying side hustle when money is your main goal (to pay for that Euro-trip or fab shoes!).
Create a budget for yourself, and evaluate if this particular side hustle opportunity is the puzzle piece that fits into place to achieve your goal. Does it fit into your allotted timeline and also increase the chances of you meeting your monetary goal efficiently? Sounds like a winner! Does it take up too much of your time? Is it unreasonable to add to your schedule, and won’t meet your monetary goal by your deadline? Pass! Move on to the next and say no thanks to that one. Not every opportunity is the right one to pursue.
At one point I was working in a part-time position that didn’t bring in as much money as it had initially promised. I was taking an expensive cab ride there to save time between gigs and social events. After working long hours that didn’t bring in as much as the other job opportunity guaranteed, I left this position for the better paying one and it was the right choice. No pricey cab ride, and an increase to my cashflow. Remember that this is a side hustle, not your main squeeze, so you are allowed to be selective here. Your time is money!
FOURTH QUESTION TO ASK YOURSELF
WILL IT BE A GREAT EXPERIENCE THAT BOOSTS YOUR RESUME?
On the other hand, if you have a goal that requires more experience on your end and the opportunity appears– that can be worth taking less pay. For example, I really wanted my work to be published. To be taken seriously (and to also learn from professional edits/feedback), I took on a very low paying project as a small, temporary sacrifice to strive towards my end goal: to be paid more to write! I worked diligently on this project to submit the best work possible. Because I treated the job opportunity like gold and submitted quality work– the editor ended up hiring me for bigger, higher paid projects that brought in thousands more for income. Now I have significantly more professional pieces to show in my portfolio, learned from great feedback from the editor which grew me as a writer, and it was a great addition to my resume.
Know your worth! There is always going to be a point in which you’re done “proving yourself” for low paid gigs. Once you’ve built up the skillset for a portfolio or resume, you’ll know when you can ask for more money and no longer need to accept unpaid gigs. A lot of industries try to take advantage of this by promoting that you’ll have “great experience to add to your portfolio”– so be careful. Do the research! Know when you can politely decline and move onto a better project.
FIFTH QUESTION TO ASK YOURSELF
DOES IT OFFER THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPLORE A NEW CAREER PATH?
Perhaps you’ve always wondered about a new career field, which right now because of the pandemic, a career shake-up is increasingly common. If an opportunity appears that lets you test the waters in a new career direction you’re interested in, then I would consider this side hustle to be a great opportunity.
The benefits here are exponential:
- Networking Opportunities: You never know who you’ll meet!! You may meet people that will help you get your foot in the door in the future, or aid as a wonderful professional reference. In today’s job market, who you know makes all the difference.
- New Insight: Working in a new career field will let you know if you actually want to make the jump, or if it’s something you don’t want to pursue. Either outcome is a win, because you’ll never have that “what if” lingering on your mind. Having an insider’s view and experience will open your eyes to potential opportunities that you may have never considered before.
- It can be a dynamic resume builder: Having a well-rounded background makes your experience stand out, and all-around makes you a more dynamic candidate for future jobs with your newly acquired experience and skillset. You may see things on a different level than other people in your industry, and that could give you a professional edge.
- Could lead to a potential future employer: Think of it as an internship. Maybe your side hustle goes so well, your employer wants you full time. If this experience opened your eyes to something you love, take it and run off into the sunset! The extra time put in can pay off if it enables you to work in your dream setting.
BECAUSE I CARE…
SIDE HUSTLE YOUR HEART OUT, BUT REMEMBER TO STAY BALANCED
It’s important to make sure you keep your life balanced– it’s a lot to take on additional work outside of the traditional workplace if you’re working a full-time job, and it’s certainly not for everyone. Make sure that when you’re setting your goals you allow time for being social, spending time with your family, and the oh-so-important, beauty sleep to keep up that good health. These are all necessary things to avoid an overscheduled, overly-tired crash. I want you to stay shining, enthusiastic, and ready to conquer your goals and dreams!
Side hustles can be an incredible stepping stone to achieve your goals– whether it’s saving upmoney to achieve financial freedom or to go on a dream trip, funding your future business, or to gain extra experience– it can lead to outcomes that you had never even considered a possibility before. A gateway to new life experiences. Just be sure to keep in mind the steps above before diving in– it could save you a lot of time, money, and stress!
Shoot me a note about your side hustle experience below– I’d love to hear your success stories and experiences. 🙂
hi there, I'm blaire!
I’m an expert at marketing & entrepreneurship, and completely obsessed with helping business owners transform their dreams into booming success stories. Sometimes it just takes an extra set of hands and another person’s perspective to make the business magic happen. Contact me today and let's talk shop!
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